THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED The Oval Room
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THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED The Oval Room Restaurant Review: THIS RESTAURANT IS TEMPORARILY CLOSED Thanks to the creative energies of executive chef Tony Conte, a disciple of Jean-Georges Vongerichten, the menu at this power place --- so near to the real Oval Room at the White House --- attracts patrons like a magnet. Conte synchronizes his colorful plates with the collection of modern canvases that illuminate the walls. His springtime white asparagus soup, a creamy-white liquid, gets texture and color from snips of herbs, a stream of green herbed oil, and pickled shallots. Other starter choices are just as appealing, such as his trademark roasted baby beets; caramelized sea scallops; and a goat cheese custard. At lunch, the line-up is slightly less formal, offering entrée salads, a few sandwich options and pastas, like chestnut ravioli with a truffle sauce. Dinner courses are more substantial and complex, where such fare as a caramelized beef strip loin or a crispy duck with pistachios take top billing. Conte offers a seven-course tasting menu plus an after-bite of marshmallows, and each course has suggested wine pairings (be sure to ask the sommelier to recommend the appropriate wine for any meal). Oh, and don’t forget dessert. Who can pass up the devil’s food cake with pralines and a dark chocolate mousse?